When I first tried Backwoods Bastard in December 2010, I wasn’t a huge fan. In fairness, I was still finding my way in craft beer and this style was a bit more adventurous than I was ready for at the time. What I didn’t mention at the time is that I actually had two bottles and decided to set one down for a “nap” to see what a year or two did for it.
Nearly two years later I decided to take this one out for a spin. It poured a deep, hazy, burnt orange and still smell of bourbon. The bouquet was subtle, with mollases and dark cherries in there. It definitely doesn’t have the carbonation of the ‘young’ version, what head I was able to coax out of it with a high pour, quickly disappeared.
The first taste still has a heavy bourbon flavor right up front, but it’s mellowed a LOT. The boozy profile is completely gone. There’s still plenty of carbonation to spread the flavors all over your mouth and the finish is very subtle… almost a burnt caramel and taste like fresh leather smells (if that’s possible).
I’d still say this beer is not for everyone, but it’s more my style these days. I’m not sure if that’s me or the beer maturing, but I enjoyed it very much tonight. As Chad said in a comment after my initial review, “the Backwoods Bastard is like the guy everyone knew in college who was fun to hang out with in small doses. I like having him over to watch a game once or twice a year, but I wouldn’t invite him every weekend.”
Vitals: Served at 45F into my trusty tulip. 10.2% ABV. Bottled 12/2010.
Taste: B+. It’s an intersesting departure from your standard beers types. Worth trying.
Drinkability: D+. Put the car keyes away and prepare to sip.
Packaging: B+. I like Founders bottles. The images tell the story and the vitals are there.
Value: D. I can’t remember what I paid for this, but I recently picked up a couple recent bottles of BB and I think they were $8-9 for 12oz. No matter how you slice it, that’s expensive.